« Archives in January, 2005

why 808FX?

WTF is 808FX?
I guess tail numbers are different for every aircraft owner. Sometimes they’re a significant set of characters (within the FAA’s formatting regulations) like birthdays, initials, something like that. Or they’re just something that’s easy to say and sounds cool when you say it. Or they’re a random grab from the FAA’s sequence generator.
For me, it’s the TR808 drum machine, and my real-life profession, visual effects. The Roland TR-808 is the original electronica/techno drum machine. Everybody since Kraftwerk has used it and it carries some of my favorite sounds ever, and I pretty much grew up hearing it, growing up in the Detroit area in the 80’s. As for the FX part, you can see my work in The Fifth Element, Titanic, We Were Soldiers, and The Italian Job, to name a few. The hours are long, the work is hard, but to quote George C. Scott in “Patton:” “God help me, I do love it so.” So let’s see if I can make something of that tail number before it expires.


this is going to be a few entries rolled into one, so here goes.
Yesterday, I reserved my N-number. I now have N-808FX ready to go when it comes time to actually get to building. Two days ago, I received my Preview Plans Set from Van’s Aircraft. It was kind of a weird thing. I opened it up and browsed the sample RVator and the accessories catalog, then jumped right in. I’ll admit, the plans were a little scary, in a looking-down-a-big-ski-hill sort of way. I haven’t had to read a print since 92, but it all came back quickly enough. There’s a lot to do and a lot to learn, and I had to reevaluate the time, finances, and skills issues. After letting the big binder sit for a couple of days (real work), I came back to it today and found that I was still comfortable with all the construction techniques, tools, materials, and prices, so I got my stoke back.
A few days before the Preview Plans arrived, “Overhauling Mazda’s 13B” with Bruce Turrentine (2nd Edition, DVD) showed up, which was way cool. Thanks Laura! I was considering buying a pre-built 13B from Bruce or Powersport, or Atkins, but after seeing the video, I know I want to build it up myself. The thing that’s starting to sink in about this stuff is that no part of it is particularly difficult, but it does require something that I have difficulty summoning on a consistent basis and that is thoroughness and attention to detail. I do realize that the construction of an aircraft is not something that should be undertaken without a committment to thoroughness and attention to detail, but I know I need work in this area. Two things I’m counting on to assist me in this process: First, I’m very thorough and detailed about things that i am obsessed with. Mental? yes, perhaps. Second: The fact that lack of attention to detail in craftsmanship or operation can be fatal. I don’t want to be one of those guys who goes over the runway fence shedding pop-rivets on the way into a freeway overpass, or that other guy who doesn’t wear the proper safety equipment and winds up in an oxygen tent bursting with Hexachrome-induced tumors and acid-etched lungs.


1-1-2029, the stars are shining bright
Nerves connected to the center, we are tied to the machine
Invisible and silent, circling overland
The planemakers designed us to outturn and outmaneuver
Intruders in the skies, intruders in our skies
-Circling Overland, Front 242
Fitting, no? Anyway, this is goign to be a header up top if i can ever figure out web stuff.. Shoulda paid attention in the 90’s instead of being nose-deep in visual effects and flying.. kidding. Really.

Fuselage stuff

Fuselage progress here

Firewall Forward stuff

Firewall forward progress goes here.


Wing progress here

Empennage progress

Empennage progress here

testing again

test some more. print the damned categories already.

blogging tools continued.

Well, now we’re using ecto to post this. W.bloggar is useless, won’t upload. To get this to work I needed to download and install the .NET framework, which was a pain in the arse, but works now. So I”m going to insert a link to Van’s Aircraft and upload a picture: and see if that works.